Extreme rhetoric makes for bad debate

By | 2003-04-05

Ben Fritz argues that as the invasion continues,

and debates rage about tactics and policies, some politicians and pundits have been using extreme rhetoric that serves only to shut down open discussion, rather than encourage it.

The New York Post’s Ralph Peters, for instance,

…has referred to the New Yorker as “a minor magazine loosely affiliated with the Baghdad regime.”

This is simply absurd. Does Peters ever read the magazine? It has been broadly supportive of the “War on Terror” and the invasion all along, even if the editorial line sometimes disagrees with the Bush administration’s methods. On the other hand,

in his online column for The Nation, John Nichols compared the current media to that of the Soviet Union and labeled some right-wing pundits “neo-conservative commisars.”

Now this I can almost sympathise with, but it doesn’t help in trying to understand what’s actually going on.

It seems the US media are unable to see beyond the binary world view that they have themselves created, with eager prompting by those in power in Washington. The progressive left’s reaction, sometimes using outdated and simplistic metaphors, makes it difficult to take the attacks seriously.

Now Akamai, a web hosting company, has pulled the plug on Al-Jazeera, giving no reason for their decision. Who, I wonder, put the pressure on them? The government, their advertisers, or was it simply a policy decision coloured by the fact that the company is Jewish-run and possibly against the right of free speech for the Arab community?

The corporate media (and the wider business community) seems to be completely in tow to this “us and them” approach, fostered by concepts such as the “Axis of Evil”. Is this simple self-interest, or is it a new form of “corporate fascism”?

Guilty as charged.

Source: spinsanity

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